Thursday, December 11, 2008

Brown Sugar Cookies

There comes a point in your 28 years of life that you start to think that you've tried every imaginable type of cookie. I mean... especially if you've got a sweet tooth like mine. Obviously there are going to be variations of cookies that I haven't tried, but I didn't really expect to come across a flavor profile in a cookie that seemed different to me. So, I was VERY surprised when I bit into one of these cookies...

Brown Sugar Cookies.

See... I know exactly what you're thinking. You're thinking that you already know how these cookies taste without even tasting them. You can imagine in your head what a brown sugar cookie would taste like, right???

Well, you're wrong. Because this cookie is deceptively titled. You see... it should be called...

Out of this world browned butter brown sugar cookie.

BROWNED BUTTER. OH MY GOD WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? Sweet, sweet browned butter. Wow. I mean, sure I'd heard of browned butter pasta sauces and whatnot, but browned butter in a cookie. GENIUS. I'm sorry. I don't mean to keep shouting at you... but these cookies are so DAMN good.

Originally, I think this is a Cook's Illustrated Recipe... and bless their hearts for thinking of putting browned butter and brown sugar into a cookie. These cookies are rich and interesting without being pretentious. Texturally, they're what you'd expect from a brown sugar cookie... molassey and chewy with crispy edges. But the flavor... the flavor is so deep. I feel like it could be described like a wine... it starts off sweet and then finishes with a deep, rich butter flavor that lingers on your palate. Awesomeness. I will definitely make these again and you should try them, too.

I found the recipe here

But, because I love them so much... I'm reposting the recipe for you (and me)

Brown Sugar Cookies
Makes 2 Dozen Cookies
from Cook's Illustrated

Here's a tip on browning the butter... brown it in a skillet. I first tried in a saucepan and it was taking forever. Transferred it to a skillet and voile! Way quicker. But, be careful not to burn the butter!

14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 ounces)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar (14 ounces)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat 10 tablespoons of the butter in a pan over medium-high heat until melted. Continue to cook the butter until it is browned a dark golden color and smells nutty, about 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer the browned butter to a bowl and stir the rest of the butter into the hot butter until it melts- let this rest for 15 min. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a baking dish, mix granulated sugar and a ¼ cup of the brown sugar until combined well; set this mixture aside to roll dough balls in. Mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Add 1 ¾ cup brown sugar and salt to cooled butter and mix until there are no lumps. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla to butter mixture and mix well, then add flour and mix until just combined. Roll dough into balls about 1 ½ inches in diameter, and roll balls in brown sugar and white sugar mixture. Place balls about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake sheets one at a time until cookies are puffy and lightly browned, about 12- 14 minutes. (It says the cookies will look slightly raw between some of the cracks and seem underdone, but be careful not to overbake.) Cool on sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool.